Preston North End fans were saluted for their sporting attitude by MK Dons boss Karl Robinson at the end of Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Deepdale.
Some of the Lilywhites faithful stayed to applaud stand-in keeper Alex Revell off the pitch after he had saved a late penalty from Joe Garner.
Striker Revell had been forced to put on the keeper’s jersey after Cody Cropper was sent-off for bringing down Eoin Doyle in the 81st minute.
The visitors had already used their three substitutes and so could not turn to sub keeper Charlie Burns.
As Robinson revealed later, Burns might not have been able to come on anyway, with him having complained of back spasms during the pre-match warm-up.
Robinson said: “To get a standing ovation from the Preston fans as we walked off the pitch was amazing.
“This is a great football club, you just look at the faces on the stands here, some of the great names we have heard of.
“The fans have learned from these greats many years about respect within the game and they certainly showed that respect to us.
“It showed how well we had played when you get that kind of response.”
The clash was one of two contrasting halves from North End, with them the stronger side in the first half but poor in the second.
Jermaine Beckford gave them the perfect start with a sixth-minute opener, one which they had the chances to build on but did not.
MK Dons levelled early in the second half through Nicky Maynard after North End keeper Anders Lindegaard had let a low cross from Josh Murphy slip away from him.
Robinson argued that his side might have deserved more than a share of the spoils.
“In the first 15 minutes we should have got a goal, we had chance after chance, corner after corner going in,” said Robinson.
“For Preston’s goal, Cody Cropper slipped.
“They could then have gone on to score two or three more, there was a 20-minute spell when they were by far the better side and we looked disjointed.
“But in the second-half we were outstanding.”
Garner seeing his penalty saved by Revell probably summed-up a frustrating second-half for PNE.
It was the perfect chance for the striker to get himself on the scoresheet after being dropped to the bench, with Beckford and Doyle picked ahead of him.
He replaced Beckford in the 66th minute, the Preston coaching staff not wanting to overload Beckford in his first start since returning from knee surgery.
All five meetings between North End and MK Dons at Deepdale have ended in draws.
The Buckinghamshire side have yet to win any of their 10 games against PNE.
While all the talk revolved around the penalty save, it could have been the visitors celebrating victory a minute into stoppage-time.
Murphy got clear on goal but put his show past the dive of Lindegaard and inches wide of the far post.
Said Robinson: “We had the unbelievable save from Alex Revell and then the kid Murphy was through one-on-one right at the end.
“I thought Murphy was outstanding in everything he did, he put in two tackles on the edge of our six-yard box at one stage.”
Despite Saturday’s point, Robinson’s men remain deep in trouble in the relegation zone.